Calumet Baptist Church
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Experience the Vision
The History of Calumet Baptist Church
 
 
Calumet Baptist Church has a rich and beautiful history. Although the church was built in 1925, the history of Calumet actually started years before. We hope that you will enjoy the history of Calumet Baptist Church. This is an ongoing project, so check back again to discover what we've uncovered in our search for the history of Calumet.
 
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In 1905, operations started at the Woodside Mill of Calumet Manufacturing in Liberty, South Carolina, and a community began. Three years later, in the spring of 1908, in a grove of pine trees (now the corner of Calhoun and South Peachtree) the Reverend John Head and eight others gathered to organize a union church. They were granted the right to use the mill house at 1 Jackson Street (then used as the schoolhouse) on Sundays for worship.
 
In 1918, a two-story pastorium was erected on Calhoun Street. The upper story was used as a schoolroom during the week and for worship on Sunday. The downstairs was used as an office for the village nurse, Mrs. John William Callaham, until 1920 when it was sold to the Woodside Company. The downstairs was then used as storage for Woodside until the building burned on the night of Sunday, February 22, 1924.
 
The church was rebuilt in 1925 and Calumet Baptist Church was founded. Reverend Head, who was a Baptist, was the pastor. Over the next 11 years, there were over 16 pastors at the church. Following Rev. Head were Rev. Earley Crenshaw (a Wesleyan) and Rev. Hudson (a Methodist).  Rev. E.O. Edwards was pastor in 1931. Rev. Phil Jenkins was pastor in 1933. Rev. R. W. Bailes was pastor in 1934. Rev. Jim A. Davis was pastor during  1935 and 1936. There is no definitive record of the order of the other pastors in this time period, but they include Rev. William Abbott, Rev. Burts, Rev. Dave Fuller, Rev. Fant Jones, Rev. Justice, Rev. Clarence Martin, Rev. Frank Merck, Rev. Mitchell, Rev. Sheriff, Rev. Stamey, and Rev. Tinsley.
 
Official church records started on September 6, 1936, with the resignation of Rev. Jim Davis, who was serving as pastor at both Eastside Baptist and Calumet Baptist. Rev. Lloyd Pace became pastor on September 13, 1936.
 
Over the next few months, the mill agreed to give Calumet Baptist a deed as long as two trustees were elected to serve with the deacon board to care for the property. In April 1937, the first trustees were elected: B.D. Martin and Guy Atkinson. On August 18, 1937, the church voted to secure a charter for the church and have the deed recorded.
 
Rev. Pace resigned in December of 1940 to move to Spartanburg to be a pastor there. Rev. Earl Sargent became pastor on January 26, 1941, and remained until he resigned on October 11, 1944. On October 15, 1944, Rev. Herbert Ayers became pastor of Calumet.
 
On September 28, 1947, the church voted to have services full-time. Three years later several Sunday School rooms were built and were dedicated on August 13, 1950. A new auditorium with a seating capacity of 500 was dedicated on October 25, 1953.
 
Rev. Ayers resigned on August 11, 1957. Rev. Cohen Arms took over as pastor of Calumet on November 10, 1957. He served as pastor until February 21, 1960.
 
On July 1, 1960, Rev. Mina Lee Davis was called as pastor. During his time at Calumet, there was dissension in the church over the Baptist affiliation of the church: Southern Baptist or Independent Baptist. On October 22, 1961, the majority of members voted to remain Southern Baptist. Rev. Davis resigned and left the church, along with other members of the church, to establish Emmanuel Baptist Church. Rev. Garland Leopard served as interim pastor.
 
Rev. Paul Hayes took over as pastor of Calumet Baptist Church on November 12, 1961. Rev. Hayes led the church in planning for a pastorium and fellowship building. Until this time, the pastorium had been a mill village house furnished free by the mill company. Groundbreaking on the new buildings was May 6, 1962. The pastorium was built and the Hayes Fellowship Center was completed in September of 1962.
 
On July 15, 1965, in Richmond, Virginia, Rev. Jack Edward and Oneida Dodson Mahaffey were appointed as foreign missionaries. They grew up in, became Christians at, and were married at Calumet Baptist. Rev. and Mrs. Mahaffey still attend Calumet Baptist, and Rev. Mahaffey now teaches Sunday School at the church.
 
In December 1969 or January 1970, Woodside Mills gave Calumet a clear title to the property.
 
A steeple was added to the church in 1970.
 
Rev. Paul Hayes resigned as pastor on January 10, 1971 (effective April 11, 1971). Rev. R. P. Lamb served as interim pastor until Rev. Willie A. Honea began his duties on July 1, 1971 (he was called as pastor in May 30, 1971). March 1, 1972, the church elected a long-range planning committee. This committee consisted of: Ralph Seigler, Vernon Mahaffey, Marvin Snyder, Roger Crowe, Sidney Whitlock, and Lera Davis. On June 6, 1976, the committee brought to the church plans for future building. These plans included a new educational building to accommodate 300 people and house the church offices and pastor’s study. Old Sunday School rooms on the west side of the church were to be torn away. The old building was to be renovated and the new building joined to it by an enclosed corridor.
 
The building committee was elected October 31, 1976. Groundbreaking was Easter Sunday, April 10, 1977. The building committee consisted of: Roger Crowe (Chairman), Sidney Whitlock, Lera Davis, Bill Batson, and Marvin Snyder. The architect was Mr. Kenneth Smith.
 
The first services were held in the new building on December 18, 1977.
 
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Information gathered on this page comes from old church documents and the stories collected from our members. If you would like to add to the history of Calumet, please contact us through our contact page.